Leigh McMullen, author at Cult of Mac

In Depth: 30 Days with the Nexus One


Google's Nexus One smartphone. CC-licensed picture by ekai.
Google's Nexus One smartphone. CC-licensed picture by ekai.

It’s been a month since my review of Google’s “SuperPhone”, the Nexus One. Since that time, we’ve surfed, updated facebook, navigated, called, played endless hands of cribbage and even tried to freeze it to death on a trip to Dayton Ohio. Follow me after the jump to find out does the “SuperPhone” stand the test of time, or is it a phonebooth’d Clark Kent.

My Tablet Won’t be Running any Silly Phone OS



We’ve been talking about an Apple tablet for years now, and of course, that chatter has boiled over into a frenzy that almost guarantees that Steve will walk on stage with something tablet-ish on the 27th, if for no other reason than the fear of a near-nuclear backlash.

While we’re confident that this will be the greatest innovation in tablets since Moses brought a couple down from Mt. Sinai, that’s all we know. The Apple-Reality-Distortion-Echo-Chamber has progressed from being all a twitter with conflicting expectations to achieving some kind of pig-headed consensus that frankly has got to be totally wrong. Principal among these group-think features is the absurd notion that the Moses Tablet v2.0 will run an OS from a freekin’ Phone.

Follow us after the jump where we taunt the conventional wisdom, until they go home crying to momma.

Google Nexus One: Hands On



I’m not going to use the word “iPhone killer” to describe the Nexus One, such phrasing is trite at best. Not to mention that the only thing that’s going to kill the iPhone will be Apple, and then, only when iPhone 4 or whatever comes out.

That said, of the current crop of pretenders the Nexus One seems to be something special. Follow us after the jump for our first impressions after 48 hours.

All I wanted for Christmas was a Little Nook



This was supposed to be my Nook review. I ordered two way back in early November. I was supposed to be telling you all about the Nook’s awesome-touchiness, fast page turning, loaning books to friends and even giving a short primer on how you can check out books from your local library and read them on your Nook, something Amazon’s Kindle could never do with its proprietary formats.

But I’m not, because it ain’t here.

It isn’t here, despite being assured it would arrive by Dec 12th, then reassured it would get here by the 18th–and then further assured when it didn’t ship Monday, that BN.com was gonna ship it super-expedited-over-night-air to make it on time.

It isn’t here and it isn’t gonna be on Friday.

Of course they did ship yesterday, if you call strapping it to the back of a turtle and pointing him in the direction of my house shipping it.

I am assured by BN customer service it will get here Monday, just one business day after their revised, revised again, and yes we really mean it this time, promised date –unfortunately that will be one day too long; since me and my little ones will be heading off to Grandmas house Sunday.

Barnes & Noble, you totally Grinched my Christmas, and I wrote this just for you:

(sung to Limp Bizkit’s “Nookie”)

It came into this world as a prospect
Look into its screen
You can see the covers of your books
Loan ‘em to your friends
Read ‘em in the store
Every page you turn makes you want it even more

But Hey I think about the day
Barnes & Noble ran away with my pay
When it came delivery day
Now it’s stuck in transit in that truck
And I’m just a sucker with a lump of coal

Hey, like a chump… Hey, like a chump… Hey, like a chump

I did it all for the Nookie
The Nookie
So you can take that bookie
And stick it up your, yeah!!
Stick it up your, yeah!!
Stick it up your, yeah!!

Why did it take so long?
Why did I wait so long, huh?
To ship it out? but you didn’t
And I’m not the only one underneath the sun who didn’t get it

How To: Moving from Aperture to Lightroom



Our recent preview of Lightroom 3 – Beta has generated a lot of buzz about the future of digital processing. One of the questions that keeps coming up is: how do I migrate from Aperture to Lightroom?

Well, it’s not has hard as you think, as long as you’re willing to invest a bit of time up-front to do it right.
Follow us after the jump, and we’ll have you loving Lightroom in the amount of time it takes to get a pizza delivered.

First Look: Adobe’s Lightroom 3 Beta Rocks, With One Big Exception



Even though I own both Adobe’s Lightroom and Apple’s Aperture, I use Lightroom because of the advanced development module, the ability to paint on different exposures, and non-destructive editing. I had very high hopes for Lightroom 3, which Adobe just released in beta, and am pleased to say that with one pretty significant exception, I’m very pleased.

Tutorial Videos and more comments after the jump

CoM Must-Have: Strobist Lighting Seminar


Image: David Hobby, Strobist.com

I am a “Fashionable Photographer”, meaning I own a ridiculously expensive camera, that I barely know how to use, and possess a virtually limitless budget for gear which are little more than fashion accessories to my lifestyle.

Yet despite this I am not the sort of dude that is likely to lay down one hundred and forty bucks on a set of DVD that I could just watch for free on account of a friend loaning them to me.

And yet I did, and I’ll tell you why, after the jump.

Does Snow Leopard Actually Downgrade Performance?



Snow Leopard is being widely touted as a performance increase, but the OS upgrade resulted in a 10-15% performance DECREASE on both my Mac Pro as well as my MacBook Pro — at least, according to the Xbench benchmarking tool.

Now of course, that could just be things that Xbench measures, perhaps it doesn’t account or provide sufficient weight for multi-threading, and multi-tasking. But we would like to get to the bottom of this, and are asking for your help.

If you followed our handy dandy upgrade guide you ought so still have a functioning Leopard install to boot from. If so, please follow this testing protocol:

  1. Power down your machine until cool.
  2. Boot Leopard, and kill all running applications
  3. Run XBench All tests except the drive test**
  4. Upload results using the name: CoM – YOUR NAME – PRE (Uploading XBench results is part of the process. Once you’re done, it asks if you want to upload your results and what name to give it)

Use the same protocol with your Snow Leopard install, but name the result CoM – YOURNAME – POST.

Thanks in advance I’ll be releasing results in the next few days.

** Why no drive test? XBench places too much emphasis on hard drive performance, and in an era where all hard drives perform basically the same, it skews all performance tests to the center. Running the test without drives provides a better picture of the actual performance delta.

Microsoft’s Folly: The Blue Store of Death


"Zombies in a Mall" by Steve Rhodes

I tried to write this article seriously. After all I’m an executive management consultant and an analyst; this is what I do for a living.

Even Leander chimed in, “Leigh, you’re becoming a parody of yourself, a crank only hauled out to rant about stuff and then tucked back in the closet.”

I want you all to know I tried, I really did. But this notion of Microsoft opening up stores is so Dog-Damned Stupid, it makes my fricken head want to explode.

Follow me after the jump to find out why.